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Free Content A review of smoke-free health care in mainland China [Review article]

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BACKGROUND: Male doctors in China have a high rate of smoking (41%). Smoke-free policies and help in quitting smoking in health care facilities would improve the health of staff and patients, and reduce smoking among doctors.

METHODS: A review of smoke-free activity in the health care sector was undertaken by conducting a search of PubMed, Google Scholar, Google and Globalink on smoke-free health care in China and by scanning the print media. Relevant published and unpublished documents were also reviewed.

RESULTS: It is not mandatory for health care facilities to be smoke free. However, a Ministerial Decision issued in May 2009 requires all medical and health institutions to be smoke free by the end of 2011, and in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, legislation requires hospital buildings to be smoke free. A range of initiatives have been implemented to ensure the goal of smoke-free health care is met by the end of 2011.

DISCUSSION: A limitation of this review is that it may understate the amount of smoke-free activity that is taking place in China. There was considerable media coverage on clusters of hospitals planning to go smoke free and other smoke-free health care initiatives, but coverage was often vague and it was therefore excluded from this review.

CONCLUSIONS: Many provinces, municipalities and cities are working towards meeting the 2011 deadline imposed by the Ministry of Health and other health authorities for all health care facilities and organisations to be smoke free. Government and non-government funding is supporting this initiative.

Keywords: hospitals; quit smoking; smoking cessation; traditional Chinese medicine; tuberculosis

Document Type: Review Article


Affiliations: 1: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Beijing, China 2: Tobacco Control Department, International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, Glenorchy, New Zealand

Publication date: 2011-04-01

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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